Built for use: Karen's Donoghue's new book explains how user experience is key for online success. (Information Technology).Modern technology often seems so full of promise and seems so easy to use that we worry less about its effect on customer relations than its physical implementation. But as Karen Donoghue's book Built for Use: Driving Profitability Through the User Experience (McGraw Hill) explains, technology is worth little if it can't be easily adopted. Donoghue's book is billed as "The first guide to linking business strategy with the art and science of on-line user experience," and she comes well qualified to write such a text. She's a graduate of MIT's Media Lab and has consulted on the development of Web sites for Fortune 1000 companies and dot coms dot com - com .
The basic premise of Built for Use is that profitable Web sites are those that offer good user experiences. They are designed to make it easy for users to complete goals and accomplish tasks. The book emphasizes that the key aspects to pay attention to are those that directly impact revenues and profits, such as the ability to help customers initiate and complete online transactions. Successful user experiences "build trust, satisfy user goals, and enable the successful completion of tasks while driving profitability at the same time."
The book focuses on the financial and customer perspectives of Kaplan and Norton's balanced scorecard Balanced Scorecard
A performance metric used in strategic management to identify and improve various internal functions and their resulting external outcomes. The balanced scorecard attempts to measure and provide feedback to organizations in order to assist in implementing . It emphasizes the importance of the ongoing, timely measurement of success for each perspective, and contains many examples of appropriate metrics metrics Managed care A popular term for standards by which the quality of a product, service, or outcome of a particular form of Pt management is evaluated. See TQM. . For example, a metric of customer usability How easy something is to use. Both software and Web sites can be tested for usability. Considering how difficult applications are to use and Web sites are to navigate, one would wish that more designers took this seriously. See user interface and usability lab. is the number of transactions completed.
The development of customer relationships on the Internet is divided into two parts: keeping customers after their first click onto a Web site, and developing long-term relationships. Clients are likely to stay on their first visit when a Web site is easy to use. Clients return to Web sites that they trust. Customers also want convenience and efficiency, respect of privacy, solutions to their needs, help as needed as needed prn. See prn order. , concrete value, and value added Value Added
The enhancement a company gives its product or service before offering the product to customers.
This can either increase the products price or value. with each click of their mouse.
Donoghue describes a "trust model for the user experience" that summarizes the building of long-term, trusting relationships between users and company Web sites. The model demonstrates that consumers trust a Web site that has a good physical presentation, accurate information, accurate fulfillment ful·fill also ful·fil
tr.v. ful·filled, ful·fill·ing, ful·fills also ful·fils
1. To bring into actuality; effect: fulfilled their promises.
2. of transactions, positive interaction experiences, mechanisms for increasing trusting relationships, a company with a good brand name and reputation, a positive Web environment, and adherence to Web guidelines guidelines,
n.pl a set of standards, criteria, or specifications to be used or followed in the performance of certain tasks. .
Accompanying the trust model is a real world example of a Web site of a money management firm. The Web site has two parts. One part is a public site used for acquiring customers. Potential customers who visit the site are likely to stay because the site is easy to use. The other part of the Web site contains private, password-protected sections designed for developing trusting relationships with existing clients.
The second part of the book is titled "Strategic Experience Envisioning." These chapters describe a process for developing a Web site that is easy to use, customer oriented o·ri·ent
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a. The luster characteristic of a pearl of high quality.
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3. , and profitable. Such Web sites are created when each phase in their development includes consultations with end users. As Donoghue points out, contacting customers early in the development process pays huge dividends later. This early contact helps determine customers' behaviours, profiles and expectations. In later phases, customer contact includes testing prototypes and monitoring site usage after the Web site is launched.
Part of the strategic experience envisioning process is an experience matrix. The matrix clarifies relationships among business goals, product features, and experiences that are beneficial to the customer's patronage Patronage
See also Philanthropy.
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supports Bias in return for political favors. [Fr. Lit. of the Web site. Using such a matrix ensures that all business goals are included in the design of the site. The matrix also draws attention to atomic-units-of-revenue -- i.e. the actions of users that directly add business value.
Karen Donoghue preaches about user-centred design as a good business practice in the last few chapters. She looks beyond Web site development and points to the need for a customer-centric orientation throughout an organization, so that the philosophy will be incorporated into every future new technology. She stresses that user-centred design is promoted in customer-centric organizational cultures This article or section is written like an .
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Mark blatant advertising for , using . and multi-disciplinary teams. In such organizations, there are constant checks on consumers' experiences throughout all development phases. These checks include: verifying any progress against the original user experience strategy and having the technology team review the results of all user tests.
Built for Use is written in a style that most will find readily accessible. It contains many real world examples and does an excellent job of relating these to the full context of the book. A good reason to buy this book is to lend it to people who doubt the need to have a customer-centric orientation when they develop new technology.
The style of Built for Use also stands in sharp contrast with more technical descriptions of user-centred design that have appeared in other books on this topic, like Vanessa Donnelly's Designing Easy to Use Web Sites and IBM's "Ease of Use" Web site (www.ibm.com/easy). These other sources emphasize user satisfaction and ergonomics ergonomics, the engineering science concerned with the physical and psychological relationship between machines and the people who use them. The ergonomicist takes an empirical approach to the study of human-machine interactions. , whereas Donoghue's book emphasizes best practices for business, and the link between user-centred design and profitability. All-in-all, a worthy addition to the literature available on this topic.
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